Tag Archives: BBQ tofu

day seven

(Click here for an explanation of the project.)

Woohoo, day seven! We’ve been eating for under $5 per person/per day for an entire week.

Here’s what we ate for $4.05 yesterday, January 8, 2011.


malted almond milk mocha with whipped cream $0.54

organic hulled barley with avocado, pico de gallo & a poached egg $0.60


leftover vegan chipotle corn chowder $0.72


BBQ tofu sandwiches with caramelized onion and cabbage $1.29

yam fries $0.40


8 ounces lowfat vanilla yogurt $0.50

total $4.05

There’s nothing quite like a lazy Saturday morning when the three of us are all home. I got up and started cooking the barley we had soaked overnight and decided to make us malted mochas. I tried to do it on the cheap, and seem to have succeeded. Here’s the recipe I came up with per serving:

malted almond milk mocha for one

1/2 cup almond milk $0.25
1/3 ounce unsweetened chocolate (1/3 a baking square) $0.12
1 tablespoon sugar $0.02
1 teaspoon cocoa $0.03
1 tablespoon malt powder $0.06
1 six ounce serving from a stove top espresso maker (still using the free beans)
1 1/2 tablespoons cream, whipped with a tiny splash of vanilla $0.06

total: $0.54 per serving

Heat the milk, chocolate, and sugar over medium heat, stirring frequently as the chocolate melts. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to low, add the cocoa and malt powder and whisk thoroughly. Allow it to simmer while you prepare the coffee and whip the cream.

Pour the coffee and cocoa mixture together in a mug and top with whipped cream.

It can be challenging to whip a small amount of cream. I whipped a tiny amount just for the 3 of us for the sake of keeping the fat down and calculating the cost. For small single servings you can shake cream in a small mason jar and get close to whipped cream if you are very determined.

Now onto the subject of BARLEY. None of the three of us had ever eaten barley outside of soup. And none of us had ever encountered hulled barley. When that was all they carried at our co-op, we had to consult the kitchn to find out if it could be used in place of pearl. Basically, pearl barley is to hulled barley as white rice is to brown.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that we decided to eat barley on the recommendation of Oprah. I fully expected to just tolerate eating it, but it just so happens that it is delicious. That breakfast was a big hit. Levi said he would be happy to eat it every single day. I didn’t break down the recipe because all the ingredients are in the title and all of them except the barley have been calculated before. We got a little shy of 3/4 cup dry organic hulled barley for 49 cents. It’s even cheaper when you consider that it triples when you cook it. Woops, almost forgot the money shot:

And here’s the cost breakdown for dinner:

BBQ Tofu Sandwiches

kaiser rolls $0.33
BBQ sauce $0.91
14 ounces extra firm tofu $1.99
1 large onion $0.25
1 tablespoon olive oil $0.13
7 ounces cabbage $0.26

total: $3.87
3 servings at $1.29 per serving

yam fries

1 tablespoon olive oil $0.13
1 large yam $1.08

total: $1.21
3 servings at 40 cents per serving


– One of the best things about this project is that we eat dinner at the table every single night.

– Is it possible that today was the first day we ate tofu? It’s okay to admit you thought we’d have to eat a ton of soy. We kind of did, too.

– In case you were concerned our super cheap almond milk was a fluke, we scored more for even cheaper by using a combination of those coupons that spit out of little machines on the grocery aisles and the ones that get spit out along with your receipt when you check out. And today we found a half-gallon of Silk soy milk for $1.79 after another in-store coupon. That will be even cheaper per cup, at 22 cents.

In our first week we ate every single meal and snack for $28.95 per person. We came in $6.05 under budget. When you consider that is 17% of our budget, that is a lot. We are kind of blown away by how well we ate this week.


Filed under food